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New Volkswagen Gets 235 MPG

sjohnson
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Posted May 18, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

New Volkswagen Gets 235 MPG

The sci-fi looking car you see pictured above is the Volkswagen 1-Liter. VW's new car features a 1-liter engine (duh) and gets 235 miles per gallon. "Nice concept car," I'm sure you're thinking. But here's the thing: It's not a concept car. According to the company, the first 1-Liters may be rolling out of Volkswagen factories in 2010.

As you may have surmised from the car's profile, the 1-Liter was developed in a wind-tunnel for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. It's 4.1 feet wide, 11.4 feet long, and just over 3 feet tall, it boasts a top-speed of 75 mph and can travel 400 miles on its 1.7 gallon fuel tank. The car can hold two people, with riders sitting tandem-bike style: One passenger in front, one in back.

Keeping the weight down is integral to the 1-Liter's fuel-sipping strategy. This car is made entirely of carbon fiber composites with a carbon fiber-reinforced skin stretched over a spaceframe made of magnesium. The engine is light-weight aluminum, the wheels are composite, and even the seats are spare: They're made of magnesium with fabric covers as opposed to upholstery.  Overall, the car weights only 639 pounds, which is less than some people I've met.

So the question is, if this was priced around what a "regular" car costs, would you pick one up? Personally, I don't think I would. I'd be concerned that the new technology wouldn't be tried and tested enough to make the car viable against other cars, plus, I'd worry about safety. Sure, Volkswagen promises it's employed high-tech safety devices like airbags and auto-stability, but I drive on L.A.'s freeways, and that thing would be demolished by an SUV. So I'm waiting until Volkswagen creates a car that is powered only by the self-righteousness of its green-obsessed driver. 

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